Relationships make me grateful. Gratitude is best manifested in my relationships as a non-negotiable quality, rather than a response to those relationships. Responding with gratitude means waiting for a student to do something extraordinary and then reacting to it. Gratitude as a relational quality frees me to affirm students any time—based on who they are, not on what they’ve done.
Alex experienced this kind of relational gratitude when I told him how much I appreciate who he is. “What did I do?” he wondered. He didn’t have to do anything; I just appreciate who he is.
Spread your thankfulness so you can feel the gratitude grow!